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Tips for Handling Sticky Yeasted Doughs

By Cook's Illustrated Published January 2019

When working with yeasted doughs, things can get sticky. Here's how to handle the dough without ruining your baked goods.

When you're working with yeasted doughs, things can get sticky. As gluten develops, the dough will eventually absorb excess moisture, leaving you with a supple, nonsticky mass. In the meantime, it's tempting to add extra flour to the dough and to your counter, but add too much and the dough could end up dry and resistant to shaping, turning your baked goods stunted and tough. Here are three tips for getting through the sticky stage without flour.

Use Bench Scraper

Use a bench scraper to scrape dough off the counter as you knead, and pause occasionally to give your hands a good scrape, too.

Dampen Your Hands

Before folding a wet dough in a bowl, dampen your hands with water; this slight wetness won't adversely affect the dough's hydration.

Spray with Oil

Before shaping dough, lightly spray your hands and counter with vegetable oil spray. Go easy so you can still maintain enough friction for shaping.